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GHSA Study Notes Spike in Teen Driver Deaths

By Hardwick & Pendergast, P.S. on February 27, 2012

A recent study by the Governors’ Highway Safety Association (GHSA) found that inexperience and distracted driving are behind an increase in fatal accidents involving teen drivers nationwide. Deaths of 16- and 17-year-old drivers increased 16 percent in 2011 over 2010. Although the increases in individual states were small and some states saw decreases or no change at all, the overall numbers added up to more teenagers losing their lives in accidents since 1995.

Prior to this increase in deaths and serious injuries, the GHSA credited graduated driver licensing laws with decreasing teen driver accidents. Graduated driver licensing, which requires young drivers to meet several requirements, including a minimum number of required behind-the-wheel hours, provides needed experience that helps young drivers develop the skills they need to avoid serious accidents. Recent laws that prohibit or curtail texting and other cell phone use have also cut down on driver distraction, another major factor in teen accidents.

The GHSA notes that a leveling off of reductions isn’t unusual, especially since most graduated-driver laws were passed in the mid-1990s. However, the GHSA notes that encouraging young drivers to get experience and avoid distraction is key in protecting them and the drivers who share the road with them.

Inexperience and distractions are a major source of car accidents for young drivers, but they can cause serious injury or death to drivers, passengers, and pedestrians of any age. If you’ve been injured in a car accident, the experienced Seattle teen driver car accident attorneys at Hardwick & Pendergast, P.S. can help. For a free consultation, call us today at (888) 228-3860. Your call is completely confidential.

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